Entertainment Movies

The Force Awakens Teaser Trailer: Analysis and Reactions

Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Daisy Ridley

The teaser trailer of the most highly anticipated film of 2015 debuted on Friday, November 28, 2014, sending the fans around the world into a frenzy. The 88-second teaser blew minds away and reinvigorated the community, spurring a profusion of fan art and other fan creations. For the authors at The Wookiee Gunner, we fangirl flailed in pure joy and managed to collect our thoughts and reactions.

First, let’s break down the teaser trailer and analyze what’s happening screencap by screencap.


The teaser trailer fades in and there’s nothing but desert for miles. John Boyega’s character stands up in a rush, both sweaty and disoriented. Right away, the audience feels the intensity both in his reaction and through John Williams’ score. The sound of a probe droid can be heard before it transitions into the next scene. Whether he’s running away from one or whether the sound is simply alluding to the Empire being “on the lookout” for this one trooper, the effect adds to the distressing situation Boyega’s character finds himself in.

Is it Tatooine? Tatooine is everyone’s first instinct, as it should be, since that is the only “desert” planet we’ve been introduced to in the films and in Star Wars: The Clone Wars. To be honest, to introduce a brand new “desert” planet would not only confuse the casual fan and viewer, but it would take away the significance behind Tatooine as the starting point for previous heroes (and villains), like Luke and Anakin Skywalker. In the next screencap, the shadows appear to be right underneath the objects, giving the impression that the source of light is straight up above. This could explain the reason why the iconic two suns weren’t immediately noticeable. Some fans even pointed out the one sun behind the two TIE fighters towards the end of the teaser, but from that angle, the second sun could be out of the frame. Honestly, I think Tatooine could very well be another thread that the new leads and the leading characters from the past share.

Plus, it appears there’s a rusted out podracer engine in the background of the next screencap. The possibility is definitely there.


A ball droid rolls its way through a “junkyard” location. This little droid, in particular, has captured the attention (and hearts) of the masses. There are several names for it already: soccer ball droid, F1-F4 (FIFA), Jabulani droid, R2-Pelé, P3-L3 (Pelé). Many have highlighted the fact that its design stemmed from early Ralph McQuarrie ideas, where he had envisioned R2-D2 running around on a small sphere. As for its programming, it’d be great to see a female-based program or, as suggested on Twitter, a genderless/gender neutral droid. People often default to “he”, but I’ve been making an effort to use “it”.


Stormtroopers await and ready their weapons before disembarking the transport. It’s interesting to note the varying sizes of the stormtroopers and how the camera focuses on the smaller individual. Jason Ward of MakingStarWars.net suggested that could be John Boyega’s character in the latest episode of “Now, This Is Podcasting!” The flickering scene gave off a Star Wars: The Clone Wars vibe, when the clone troopers swayed roughly from side to side in the unsteady gunships. Unlike previous appearances of stormtroopers (including in Star Wars Rebels), which often elicited laughter from the audience, these stormtroopers instill fear and clearly possess a more threatening quality.

Clone troopers vs. Stormtroopers. Many are quite confused about the difference between a clone trooper and a stormtrooper. Clone troopers are copies made from Jango Fett’s DNA, and unlike regular people, clones had accelerated aging. As the Empire gained more power, the clone troopers were phased out and they were replaced by volunteers and recruits from local populations. Hence, the reason why we see John Boyega’s character and not Temuera Morrison, the actor who portrayed Jango Fett and the clones in the prequel films.


Clearly troubled by something, Daisy Ridley’s character quickly turns on her speeder bike and speeds off into the distance. The face that sparked a thousand fan artworks. In gathering fan art for the Fan Creations post at Making Star Wars, I noticed that both the ball droid and Daisy Ridley’s character have the most fan art. It reminded me of Sabine Wren from Star Wars Rebels, a female Mandalorian character who ignited a wave of fan art when she was first introduced earlier this year. It’s no secret that the Star Wars saga (and things in general) desperately needs more canon and strongly written female characters. Her character and the development she’ll undergo are what I look forward to the most.

Also, I hope toy companies don’t fall back on archaic ways and leave her out of merchandise. It’s time to start incorporating female characters into toys and merchandise traditionally aimed at boys as well as pay more attention to the female fanbase that clearly exists and desires more merchandise aimed at them.


Oscar Isaac’s character and his squad of X-wings fly at high speeds over a body of water. At this point, I’d like to call attention to the beautiful color palette that we’ve seen from the desert, and now, from this scene over the water. Oftentimes, I see something unnecessarily dark and dull, and think, “I want to put this entire thing on Photoshop, change the lighting, and add a few filters.” I used to make GIF sets on Tumblr all the time, so I picked up the habit of seeing and tweaking things in my mind, but the colors in both scenes have won my praise. Beautifully soft and warm, I simply adore them.

As for the scene itself, it was jaw dropping to see a craft meant for space glide over surroundings that cause friction and that react to the propulsion. We’ve seen snowspeeders glide over the snowy terrain of Hoth in The Empire Strikes Back, but this had more energy and an edge to it that made it feel modern.


A mysterious character walks through a dark forest, pausing quickly to activate a red lightsaber. Every story needs conflict and an antagonist to challenge the protagonist. Over thirty years have passed since the Emperor and Darth Vader died, and of course, there would be a struggle for power following that. However, are Sith (or people resembling the Sith) a safe choice? Does the galaxy ultimately fall on this back-and-forth war between Jedi and their opposites? If so, the story runs the risk of becoming repetitive and slightly boring. One the first comments I said about this movie back when it was first announced was “I hope we have a different villain–someone or something other than the Sith.” Obviously, it’s too soon to say what kind of affiliation this individual has with the Sith, if any.

As for the red lightsaber, the unveiling of this new design caused an Internet-wide meme to spread called the “Crossguard Lightsaber” meme. Personally, I like when concept artists tinker and add creative bits to a weapon we’ve seen time and again. Being compared to medieval longswords, the saber does pose some interesting questions. Some have theorized that the crossguard may be an exhaust port of some kind to vent extra energy from what appears to be an unstable blade. Others think it’s some sort of a Sith relic, like the Darksaber was to the Jedi in Star Wars: The Clone Wars. Many more wonder how it’ll look in action, and for that, we could turn to how longswords were used in the past.

During half-swording, the entirety of the [longsword] works as a weapon, including the pommel (the bottom of the hilt) and crossguard. One example how a sword can be used this way is to thrust the tip of the crossguard at the opponent’s head right after parrying a stroke. (Source)

My imagination has fully taken over, but what if there was a way to deactivate the blade but still keep the crossguard active. I can see it being tossed like a small blade or deceptively stab someone without activating the entire thing. There are many possibilities, and I don’t think people should dismiss the weapon just yet.


The Millennium Falcon spins through the air and attacks two incoming TIE fighters. Though no classic characters were shown, the Millennium Falcon itself is an iconic character and made a spectacular appearance. The last time we followed the Falcon in a similar manner was in Return of the Jedi when Lando led a small group to attack the Death Star’s reactor core. As for the two TIE fighters, some have theorized that John Boyega could be in one of them and that’s how he ends up on the desert. We saw something similar in a Star Wars Rebels short, “Property of Ezra Bridger“, when the Ghost shot down a TIE fighter and the pilot (Baron Valen Rudor) crash landed on Lothal.

As for not seeing any classic characters, I’m quite happy about that. I’ve always been a supporter of the “less classic characters, more new characters” approach, since the new characters are the ones who will carry the torch forward. Plus, it makes sense to keep characters like Luke, Leia, and Han for a full-length trailer at a later point in time.

“There has been an awakening. Have you felt it? The dark side and the light.”

As discussed in Episode 57 of “Now, This Is Podcasting!”, I agree with my fellow co-hosts in that the voice comes from a Force user–someone attuned to feeling those subtle changes. It could also be someone who is potentially talking to another person, since they asked “Have you felt it?” The fact that there has been an awakening of some kind makes you wonder where the Force was for the past thirty or so years. Maybe, there’s something bigger out there that caused the ripple in the first place and woke up both sides. Only time will tell.


The following are the thoughts and impressions from Elisa and Saf, TWG contributors and Star Wars fangirls:

Elisa: Now THAT was a teaser! Wow. Where to even begin!

I love that the people we saw in the trailer were all new to the movie. Given it’s a teaser and we know that a fair bit of the original cast is in this movie, I didn’t actually have high hopes of seeing anyone new in the teaser. That said, I am SO, SO happy that we got to see some of them.

First and foremost, I absolutely love that the very first face we see for this new Star Wars trilogy is John Boyega in his Stormtrooper gear. It’s awesome for many, many reasons, all of which I personally won’t be getting into, but I love it. Simple as that. I do want to know more about the droid we see. Does it belong to Daisy’s character? They all seem to be on the same planet, so maybe it is hers. Then, of course, there is the biggest question of all–may I buy one? You have no idea how much I want that answer to be a yes.

Anyway, the Stormtroopers! I had been hoping those concept sketches and images that were floating around months ago were real, and seeing that they are makes me ridiculously happy! Many people have pointed this out, but I love the height variants you see in that shot. Not only is one shorter than the rest, but one is also taller. We didn’t get to see the weapons themselves in great detail, but from the little view I got with the power of pausing, I liked what I saw. I can’t wait to see a better shot of the armour itself, which, from the glimpses we saw, already has other changes to it besides just the helmet.

Next up is Daisy in the desert with the vehicle she’s drives. I love the design, overall. In the first shot we see of her, I wonder if she has a lightsaber staff attached to the side of it. The second shot clearly takes place at another point in time, since I doubt continuity would be that far off to have the siding simply disappear between cuts. Anyone familiar with the comics, and namely, the video game Masters of Teras Kasi, will know the weapon as being one that Leia most often used. If rumors of Daisy’s character are true and she is Han and Leia’s daughter, I would love for her to use such a weapon. It would be a nice break from the straight up sabers we’ve been watching Jedi wield in every movie.

The shot with the X-wings was awesome, and it was great to see them in a different environment besides the desert planet. Talking strictly of the movies, since we never saw Alderaan, Naboo is really our only point of reference for beautiful, multi-terrain/ecosystem planets. Also, I just want to point out that I do not at all mind how uncluttered things are within the cockpit of the new X-wings. People have made comments over it, but I’m willing to believe that technology has changed over the course of 30 years. And hopefully, whatever the Rebellion has grown into, it isn’t quite as ragtag as it used to be.

I have theories as to identity of the mysterious person shrouded in black, but that’s not for right now. What I do want to say is that, I LOVE that lightsaber, and I love the location we get to see this character in. We’ve never had one quite like it before in Star Wars, not even in The Clone Wars, so it was exciting to see. I desperately want to know what caused them to activate their lightsaber in that moment. From what little we saw of them, I love their attire; they’re not looking too much like what we’ve seen before from dark side users or Sith, and I can’t wait to see what the front view is like.

And last but not least, the swell of John Williams’ score and the Falcon. There’s not a whole lot to say about that, but in that moment, that scene especially, took my breath away.

The whole trailer felt like Star Wars.

I know it’s early, that it’s only a teaser, and that with all the reservations people have had thus far, that it’s too early to get my hopes up, but I’m beyond impressed. I went into that teaser expecting 88 seconds of something completely different, and I got far more than I was ever expecting.

All I can say is that I am super happy, and I cannot wait to see the eventual full trailer.

Saf: I admit that in my sleep deprived haze, I spent the first 20-something seconds thinking the trailer was all an elaborate prank. Then, John Boyega popped up, looking terrified, and I swear, butterflies exploded within me as I finally realized: This is new Star Wars. What an opening to a teaser, as it’s a surprise reveal, and it draws you in the moment you realize that Boyega is

  1. in a desert, and
  2. in stormtrooper armour.

His heavy breathing, doubled with the ominous music and growing wind, set the tone for the teaser, and potentially the universe we’ll see in the film: suspense, fear, and mystery.

The new droid that we saw was super cute, and I’d been long curious about how exactly it’d work. However, I was much more excited by what came next, because anyone who’s followed my Twitter long enough will know just how much I loved the new stormtrooper design when it was revealed/leaked. To see it in reality (of sorts), with the flickering lights and the movements of the troopers getting battle ready, made my heart skip a beat. A lot of people were saying that moment felt “very Abrams”, but I’d disagree. I think it feels more modern cinema in general, with the shaky camera, the colours and lights, and that particular shine from the armour. It’s a different feeling, for sure, but the films will definitely have more modern touches at times, and it’s interesting to see that so soon in a teaser. If anything, that little clip gives us the sense that stormtroopers are deadly and a little terrifying, something that has been a little lost after all the jokes.

And then, even better–and yes, there is always better–we see Ridley, also in a desert, on a bizarrely shaped speeder, wearing an outfit that evokes an EU aesthetic. Before the teaser came out, I remember saying, “I want to see Ridley, Lupita, and/or Christie.” Well, I got one of them, and I am very glad for it, as she looks perfectly in-universe as she speeds off towards that gate that we saw earlier in the year. She looks worried, yes, but she also has that fierce determination about her that fuels my feeling that she’s Leia’s daughter. There have been many comments on her speeder, but I think it looks so weird that it’s pretty cool, and it reminds me a little bit of the design style from the The Hitchhiker’s Guide film. If nothing else, it looks completely unlike anything we’d find on Earth, and I always love that kind of look in sci-fi.

Then, there’s Oscar Isaac, rebel pilot (cue audience gasp) in an X-wing, speeding off across a gorgeous landscape with some impressive water effects. (I thought CGI was supposed to be terrible!) My favourite part of the X-wing shots is how much this planet (be it new or old) reminds me of New Zealand, with the picturesque mountains over the water. It almost brings the scene closer to home for me, seeing an almost familiar landscape. Plus, I’m a sucker for pretty lighting.

Since they’re the three faces we saw, Ridley, Boyega and Isaac are likely our new golden trio, taking the Star Wars mantle from their predecessors for this new trilogy.

Finally, after the perfect amount of teasing, there’s the hooded, Sith-like person, whose movements as they ignite their lightsaber make them appear almost as unstable as the saber itself. While I’m still not completely sold on the three-pronged approach, it’s been suggested that the sabers on the hand guard are actually exhaust vents, of sorts, for an overly unstable lightsaber. I’m choosing to believe this until it’s proven either way, because if it’s true, that’s a really cool design.

Enough on the saber, however, as too many people have already spoken of it. The backdrop of the scene is just as interesting. There’s snow–and there were many rumours of a snow planet–but also trees, which takes us away from Hoth (hopefully) and into new territory. Is it the same planet as the gorgeous lake that the X-wings were streaming past? Who knows! That’s what makes it so exciting.

And the biggest question of all this: who’s behind that hood? Is it Adam Driver or maybe even Gwendoline Christie, as some have suggested? Are they truly a Sith or some kind of Sith wannabe, thus explaining their homemade, dangerous looking saber? No matter how much we analyze that teaser, we’re not going to get our questions answered, and that’s what’s so good about it. We saw enough to set some rumours as fact, but not enough to answer any big questions, so we’ll just keep asking them until we see the film. Perfect!

I also may have cried.

2 comments on “The Force Awakens Teaser Trailer: Analysis and Reactions

  1. 100% agree on the more new characters, less classic. I was really happy that they kept to the new characters and the only shot of familiarity were the stormtroopers (sort of) and then the Falcon.

    • Glad to see you agree! There was a lot of chatter about the desire to see some classic characters in the teaser, but I’m glad it emphasized that these are the new folk that will be carrying the movies forward.

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